Remington Model 673 Collection
By Ed Turner
It didn't start out to be anything like this. I had been enamored with the .350 Remington Magnum caliber forever and when the new Remington Model 673 came out, I just had to have one. My friend Gary, owner of my favorite gun shop, was able to locate one for me at a very good price and the collection was started, albeit unknowingly.
For those who might not be familiar with the Remington Model 673, it is pretty much an improved reincarnation of their Model 600 Magnum, a rifle that was far ahead of its time. The Model 600 came out in 1964 and was produced in what were the first commercial short magnums, the 6.5mm Remington Magnum and the .350 Remington Magnum. The magnum models also introduced the first laminated stock supplied on a factory rifle. A standard model with a walnut stock was also produced in the more pedestrian .308, .243, 6mm, .222, .223 and .35 Remington calibers. Possibly the new carbine length rifle with its 18.5" barrel, along with the new short magnum cartridges and laminated stock, was just too much for the shooting public to accept all at one time. Well, that and the recoil and muzzle blast that the .350 unleashed on an innocent shooting public.
The rifle also exhibited such odd styling cues as a raised (nylon plastic) ventilated rib, an oddly shaped dogleg bolt handle and, on the magnum version, a wide-striped stock of contrasting beech and walnut laminates. Remington later tried a bit of a redesign, following the 600 with the very similar Model 660, which had a 20" barrel sans vent rib and a black forend tip on the walnut stocked versions. The last of the clan, the Model 660 Mohawk, was another 18.5 incher, likely produced simply to use up all leftover stocks without the possible stigma of being a 600. I actually owned two Mohawks, a .243 and a .308 in stylish European Mannlicher stocks. They were a pair of good looking rifles, dogleg bolts and all.
In more recent years, something of a cult following developed with hunters finally realizing that the short length and powerful calibers made these avant-garde carbines very effective still-hunting elk and deer guns, as well as powerful and handy protection against bears, albeit a bit out of the norm. Prices had risen to where a pristine Model 600 in .350 Rem. Mag. might have fetched close to a grand. Some of the last 600 Mohawks sold in that era's discount stores, such as Caldors and Bradlees, at prices as low as $99.
It is likely that more than one owner of the original rifle, having paid big bucks for it second hand, has lamented their purchase now that Remington has produced an updated and improved version. The "6" in 673 is there to pay homage to its predecessor, the "7" represents the new action type, the Model Seven, and the "3" is for 2003. So much for our little history lesson.
My buddy Gary also acquired a Model 673 in caliber .300 Rem SAUM on a trade from someone who likely should have gotten a .270 and, with a bit of creative buying on my part from GunsAmerica, I was able to complete a trade with my friend that put the .300 SAUM in my gun cabinet at a very economical price. He was very happy to receive two Marlin lever actions for a rifle no one seemed to want and promptly sold both of them. Go figure.
I now had two chamberings in the same model rifle and enjoyed the feel and shootability of both. As Mr. Hawks has written in a comparison article about the Model 77 Ruger and 673 Remington .350 Mag. rifles and also in his review of the Model 673 (see the Product Review Page to read these articles), the stock design and excellent recoil pad make the .350 very shootable in the Model 673. The .300 SAUM turned out not to be a problem, either.
My .350 collected a respectable Kentucky buck from a tree stand one chilly November morning shortly after I acquired it. The 2-7x33mm Leupold Rifleman scope mounted on it was a good compliment to both caliber and rifle. In the course of my experience with my 673 in .350, I had learned that the original scope purchased for it, a Bushnell Elite 3200 1.5-4.5x32mm was physically too large to be on top of a rifle like the 673 due to the height of both the vent rib and rear sight. A scope longer than about 11.5 inches was also awkward. The magnification range would have been perfect, but the scope's physical size was a bit too much for this rifle.
That particular scope now sits atop a Savage 110 in caliber .338-06 and fits that rifle perfectly. The Model 673 in .350 now wears a very nice Pentax 2-5x25mm scope, which perfectly suits it. I was a bit more experienced in selecting a scope for the Model 673 in .300 and decided on the same scope I had mounted on a Remington Model Seven in 7mm SAUM, a 2-7x32mm Bushnell Elite 3200. I knew it would work, as the actions and scope bases are identical for the Model Seven and Model 673.
My smugness was short-lived, though, when I found that the location of the rear sights varied by about 1/2 inch on these two rifles. I had to remove the .300's rear sight assembly from the vent rib to allow proper eye relief for the Elite 3200. The rifle was possibly the easiest I have ever sighted-in, from bore sighting to actual firing at 100 yards and it proved to be even more accurate than my Model Seven 7mm SAUM.
With that combination I collected a very nice Tennessee whitetail last season with the widest (just barely under 20") rack of any whitetail I have ever harvested. A shot threaded through some underbrush dropped him in his tracks at about 100 yards. Success was mine with Model 673 number two. The .300 SAUM with 165 grain loading is not a caliber one thinks about needing to deer hunt here in Kentucky and Tennessee (or anywhere else in the U.S.), but the sweet handling 673 allows the luxury of choosing a caliber that might whack you a tad too hard in another design.
I was surprised to see another new chambering in the 673 series shortly after that, when the .308 Winchester became available. I'd seen some ads for the 6.5 Rem. Mag. in the 673 as well, but hadn't thought that I'd be interested, believing the rifle a bit too heavy for the caliber. I soon found a .308 at a greatly reduced price, NIB, and had it in my hands shortly thereafter. I decided to do some pondering before selecting a new scope for the .308 and finally decided that I didn't need a new scope at all, as I already had a scope that I thought might be a perfect match. I purchased some Warne bases and Warne QD rings for this rifle and soon had a Redfield Widefield 4X scope mounted atop the new rifle.
The scope's gloss finish looks great in those wonderful Warne rings and it fits the intended use of that .308 just fine. I figure I can easily collect venison at 250 yards with that rifle / scope combination and when longer shots are expected there are other rifles and calibers to use, including its big brother the .300 SAUM. The .308 has been sighted-in with Winchester 150 grain Power Point factory loads and, of course, if I decided on a 180 grain load, it would be a cinch shooting it with that stock / rifle configuration. There will be no problems shooting the heaviest .308 loads in this rifle, at all. I'll use it during this year's deer season in Tennessee and we will see if it is as lucky for me as its older siblings were.
The fourth Model 673 had a more difficult road to navigate to get to my house. I had become extremely interested in some 6.5 calibers (due in no small part to Mr. Hawks and other Guns and Shooting Online members), specifically the 6.5-284 Norma. As a short action vs. the long action 6.5x55, I was surely impressed with its ballistics, if not its availability. I began looking for inexpensive short action rifles I could have re-barrelled to 6.5-284 caliber and in the process found a closeout sale for the 6.5mm Remington Magnum in a Model 673 that was an absolutely killer deal on a NIB rifle. Something on the order of $400 off list price, delivery included. These two calibers are virtual twins and my fingers were soon typing as fast as two fingers can type, sending an email to the dealer offering the deal. Lo and behold, I had a response on the same day and the rifle itself within 2 weeks.
Another Bushnell Elite 3200 will likely make its way atop the 6.5 Mag. There is a possibility that a nice 2-7x35mm Burris FuIIfield II could live there, but I have my doubts about it fitting above the vent rib. I refuse to compromise the rifle's fine balance by putting a scope in high rings on it. Alternatively, I may mount a Leupold VX-1 2-7x33mm scope. The 2-7x33mm Leupold Rifleman fit fine on the .350, after all.
I now have all four calibers in which the recently discontinued Model 673 was produced. When looking at these rifles, I must say that they pretty much cover all CPX2 and CPX3 class game hunting in the U.S. The 6.5mm will be sufficient for any antelope, sheep, goat, deer or caribou hunt, anywhere. The .308 takes care of hogs and woods deer and the .300 SAUM is as good as it gets for long range elk and combination mule deer / Rocky Mountain elk hunts. The .350 is already on my list for deer and of course will work splendidly for elk, moose and the big bears, should I ever go there.
If a hunter were of the mind to have similar rifles to hunt all big game with, in order to keep miscues and maintain good habit transfer, they could do a lot worse than this set of four handsome and uniquely styled rifles. As I look at the 673 (x4) I see a perfect opportunity to also save some money on scopes by buying one scope for the .308/.350 and one more for the 6.5 and .300 SAUM combination. The .308 and .350 could easily have some common bases installed, say Warne steel angle lock and share the same scope. I'll vote on a Swarovski 1-6x24mm in 30mm Warne QD rings or a Leupold VX-7 1.5-6x24mm in those same 30mm rings. The two long range specialists could also share some common rings mounting a Leupold 3-9x33mm Ultralight or other, similar compact riflescope.
Those scopes may actually end up on these rifles, if I can find a way to smuggle them into my house and aboard two of them. This is a concept interesting to me, the common model rifles for familiarity and common scopes to save some big bucks on quality glass. Actually, the fact I saved over $1500 off list price on the four rifles by carefully buying them one at a time gives me all the reason I need to run out and spend it on that pair of serious scopes I just mentioned. However, I'm not so sure it is quite enough reason to satisfy my better half!
Now, these two additional 673s need to harvest some venison so that they will be accepted by their older siblings! Anyone wanting to read a complete review of the Remington Model 673 can do so by visiting the Product Review Page and reading Chuck Hawks' in depth review, which, if memory serves me right, also includes a tip about adjusting the trigger.
Here are some specifications for the Remington 673, taken from the 2007 Gun Digest:
I would recommend that anyone wanting to own and use this recently discontinued model from Remington peruse gun shops as well as the Internet for NIB guns being sold at discounted prices. I can state unequivocally that the rifle does not handle or feel nearly as heavy or awkward as it might appear in pictures. It is actually quite lively in hand and so far, all of mine have shot very well. I certainly feel that if you are able to find any deals similar to what I found, it would be a very good addition to your collection.
One final comment about this unique family of rifles is that the .350 Remington Magnum is actually lighter than the 6.5 Remington Magnum, due to the larger bore of the barrel. The 6.5mm comes in just short of being a "heavy" barrel in that caliber and we will soon see how that works accuracy-wise. The .308 in this design, as stated before, is a real pussycat to shoot and I suspect that the 6.5 Magnum will also be relatively easy on the shoulder. To me the Model 673's are real all around winners!
Note: A full length review of a Remington Model 673 can be found on the Product Reviews page.
Copyright 2008 by Ed Turner. All rights reserved.